Recent blog posts

Craft Brewers Legislation in Annapolis

Last Friday, General Assembly committees considered dueling bills on “craft brewers.”  On one side was the Task Force empaneled by Comptroller Peter Franchot and his much ballyhooed “Reform The Tap” bill; the other was a proposal by Delegates Davis and Branch to repeal 2017 legislation on craft brewers which has been roundly criticized by Franchot as a knife in the back to the brewing industry despite the fact that it liberalized rules requested by the craft brewers. The “Gospel” according to Franchot was detailed by Brian Griffiths, the editor-in-chief of Red Maryland in his post on February 10th entitled “Speaker Busch Declares War on Maryland Beer Industry.”  Red Maryland is a group which often peddles “alternative facts,” promotes Republican agenda items and demonizes Democrats, excepting Franchot who is politically aligned with Republican Governor Hogan whom Red Maryland wholeheartedly supports. In the interest of full disclosure, I have more than a passing... Continue reading
Hits: 1175

Maryland Dentists Serving Marylanders

More than 175 years ago, Maryland established the world’s first school of dentistry. The rich history of dental medicine in our state has created the highest standard of oral care that carries into today. It’s why Maryland dentists are committed to maintaining the exceptional care that Marylanders have come to expect from their community dentist. Maryland dentists are finding solutions that ensure every Marylander receives dental treatment by trained dentists. First and foremost, we are championing comprehensive adult dental Medicaid. Good oral health is imperative to overall body health, and Maryland is one of less than 20 states that doesn’t provide this benefit to its residents. We’ve seen the positive results after a renewed effort by the state legislature to increase funding for children’s dental Medicaid through the Healthy Smiles program. Nearly 69 percent of children who were enrolled in this program at some point over a 320-day period in the... Continue reading
Hits: 1404

Karen Barbour: Why we support a vibrant downtown Columbia

As the founders of Alliance for Hispanic Commercial Contractors (AHCC), we know that over 6% of Howard County residents identify as Hispanic, and that the Hispanic population is growing every year. The AHCC is dedicated in promoting the growth, prosperity and participation of Hispanic Commercial Contractors in commercial and government procurement contracts through education, training and guidance, especially here in the Mid-Atlantic region.  We are a central part of the 21st Century economy and intend to play an integral role in Maryland’s growth in the years to come.  That growth will require a strong commitment to creating the communities that will attract businesses and citizens in the changing economy. As such, we believe the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) package proposed under Howard County Bill CB56-2016 is crucial to creating the Downtown Columbia envisioned in the Downtown Columbia Plan and urge the Howard County Council to pass this legislation during the November 7, 2016 legislative session.... Continue reading
Hits: 12338

MEDICAID 50 Years Old and Still Going Strong

This week Congressman Elijah Cummings keynoted an event celebrating the fifty years of Medicaid in Maryland. Medicaid launched in Maryland in July of 1966. In 1966, Maryland Medicaid provided coverage for over 113,000 Marylanders. Today, approximately 1.2 million Marylanders receive health insurance coverage under Medicaid.  The federal law that created Medicaid, The Social Security Amendments of 1965, was signed into law July 30th 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson. That legislation provided government-sponsored health insurance coverage for seniors, low-income children, caretaker relatives, the blind, and individuals with disabilities. Maryland was actually ahead of the Federal Government as the first state to adopt a medical assistance program administered outside of a welfare agency. For nearly 20 years prior to Medicaid’s passage, Maryland’s State-funded medical assistance program helped poor and elderly Marylanders gain access to health care. That Maryland fund would later be replaced by Medicaid after the federal legislation.  Medicaid is our health... Continue reading
Hits: 12900

Josh Kurtz: The Ficker Finger of Fate

Whatever happened to the Good Old Days in Montgomery County, when Robin Ficker, consistently, was Public Enemy No. 1? Year after year, Ficker, the gadfly extraordinaire, the chronic candidate who lucked into a seat in the House of Delegates from 1979 to 1982 and has been trying to claw his way back to respectability ever since, has won the enmity of the Montgomery County political establishment by doing the things that gadflies do.  Specifically, Ficker would advance a ballot question – usually to lower or limit taxes or to impose term limits on county officials – and watch with glee as the establishment scurried to defeat him. Predictably, there would be a unity news conference – or a series of them – featuring Democrats and Republicans, business and labor and civic leaders and environmentalists, coming together to say why Ficker’s prescription (or sometimes just Ficker himself) was plain wrong, a threat... Continue reading
Hits: 13960